A truck driver who drove into the path of an oncoming train
in May has claimed sun strike as the cause of the smash, in a
court appearance this morning.
Keith Raymond Skinner pleaded guilty to careless driving when
he appeared in the Ashburton District Court before Justices
of the Peace Eric Weir and Steve Wise.
Skinner, driving an empty Verkerks truck and trailer unit and
heading east, crossed the uncontrolled Northpark Road railway
crossing shortly after 9am on May 28 - unaware of the
southbound train bearing down on him.
By the time he heard the train it was too late; it ploughed
into the truck, causing extensive damage to both the train
engine and the semi-trailer unit.
"I'm sorry," Skinner told the court.
"It wasn't on purpose - I couldn't see the train because of
the sun strike.
"The first thing I knew about the train was when I heard it
about two seconds before it hit me."
Skinner's case was adjourned so he could undertake
restorative justice. He has until November 26 to complete the
process, when he will return to court for sentencing.
- Ashburton Guardian